On paper, John T. Booker of Topeka, Kan., looked like a worthy recruit for the US Army. The 19-year-old had served as a master sergeant in the Junior ROTC program at Topeka West High School.

But a few weeks before he was to report for basic training, Mr. Booker, a Muslim, wrote something unusual on his Facebook page.

"I will soon be leaving you forever so goodbye! I'm going to wage jihad and hope ... that i die."

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